Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joyful Chaos

I couple of weeks ago, I was having one of those days. You know the ones I mean...

I hit the snooze button twice before I manage to drag myself out of bed much later than I should have. As I trip on a pile of laundry, making my way down stairs, I remember that I neglected to prepare my daughter’s lunch the night before and then discover that we are out of bread (well the last couple of pieces had gone moldy). My sweetheart has no clean underwear (the washing machine broke down last week). The sink is full of dirty dishes. The bus comes early. I don’t have time to make my lunch. And as I rush out to the car, I don’t realize that I am still wearing my slippers (until I get to work).

As my sweetheart drives me to work and I finally have time to catch my breath, I feel that sting in my eyes and the pressure in my throat and I just start to cry.

He looks over at me and with genuine concern asks “What’s the matter?”
That pushes me over the edge and I spill (much like the tea I’ve noticed down the front of my dress). I sputter and sob… “It’s that thing that happens to me,,, it’s happening again…. I’m feeling overwhelmed.”

I unleash my rant. I explain that I’m just not coping with the day to day management and control of the house, my job, our girl. I sob over not seeming able to find enough time to write or practice my guitar or plant a garden. I bather about feeling inadequate; after all we only have one child. Plenty of the other mama’s I know have 2, 3, 4 children (how on earth do they do it?)

This state of overwhelm is something I have struggled with over the years. I seem to go through cycles. For a while I feel like I have everything more or less under control and then all of a sudden I find that my time management and coping skills have been hijacked. Only, I know that it isn’t all of a sudden. There are warning signs and small sequences of events that accumulate, leading up to the apparent ambush of sensibility. But, I digress, all that for another post.

Anyway, I cry and complain and whine for about half of the 20 minute drive to work. Calmly, my sweetheart listens. He nods but remains thoughtfully silent. Then I try to pull myself together. When we arrive at the daycare (where I work part-time as an Early Childhood Educator), I’m almost re-assembled, eyes dried, blotchiness fading, lipstick re-applied, although I am still wearing my slippers. Well, at least that should evoke some laughter from the children (and staff).

I know that I need to leave my personal baggage outside of the environment I’m about to enter. I need to radiate positivity and light for the developing young people who are about to be in my care for the next eight hours. I’m not sure how I’m going to pull it off.

My sweetheart leans over and kisses me and he says, “You know that we have a great life, don’t you?” And I’m in tears again. This time they are of joy, because he’s right. We do have a great life.

We have a beautiful, healthy and bright seven year old daughter. We have warm and supportive family and friends. We have jobs (that aren’t completely soul-sucking) and a steady income. We have love and peace and happy times together.

Of course every now and then life can seem to get a bit crazy and chaotic but with the right mix of chaos and tranquility I joyfully admit, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.


Fiona said...

Thanks for sharing such a moving and beautiful insight into a day in your life and wow, did I recognize myself in your words. You had me in tears too! Keep writing, please!
P.S. Love the profile, BTW...

Om Mama said...

Thank YOU, Fiona, for being my first commenter!! And of course, for your kind words!!

Mary Lynn said...

I totally have moments like this, too, where I feel like everything in my life is just so out-of-control and I have no time to do all the things I want to do. And then I think, does it really matter if there are stacks of mail lying around the house waiting to be filed? Does it really matter if I totally forgot to buy eggs again? Does it matter that I haven't seen a movie in ages? This is just a phase we're in...there will be time to organize life later when kids are older.

It is wonderful though, isn't it, to have a partner who listens patiently when we feel the need to rant a bit. :-)